Jigged Euro Rainbow Warrior

In my opinion, the greatest creation of Lance Egan is the Rainbow Warrior. No doubt, however, that it fishes! With Euro-style fly fishing really coming to the forefront, for me, it means converting my long-time favorite classic fly patterns to weighted jig versions. This doesn’t necessarily work for all patterns. I’m not sure how effective a weighted Jigged RS2 would be. The Rainbow Warrior, however, lends itself nicely to this transition. The original Rainbow Warrior (or at least the Umpqua commercially tied version) utilizes a red thread and a curved shank hook. This jig style tends to win out for me when rigging either euro style or indicator fishing. I love it because it gets deep quick and minimizes snags.

Step by Step Euro Style Jigged Purple Rainbow Warrior:

Begin by sliding the bead onto the hook. Set the hook in your vise and wrap some lead wire around the shank. Push the lead wire up into the slotted bead.

Start your tying thread behind the lead wire. Create a thread ramp and secure the wire to the hook shank.

Using some Coq De Leon feathers, tie in a tail that is the length of the body. Use the tail material to help build the body transition.

Secure a tinsel material to the hook shank. I use this to help the transition onto the lead wire section as well.

Wrap the tinsel forward, covering the hook shank. Keeping the wraps even creates nice segmentation. Secure behind the bead and work your thread back about a third of the way back, creating the thorax.

Now, tie in a wider piece of tinsel material underneath the hook, at the back of the thorax. I typically flip my hook over in my vise for this stage.

Dub a noodle and wrap the thorax region. The traditional pattern calls for a rainbow dubbing. For this purple variation, I like to use Ice Dub UV Black instead. Fold over the wider flash material for the backing of the fly and secure down. Trim of the tag and whip finish.


  • Hook: C400BL 12-16
  • Weight: .010 Lead Wire
  • Thread: UTC 70 Denier Purple
  • Tail:Whiting Farms CDL Dark Pardo Tailing
  • Body Material (Abdomen): Hareline Pearlescent Tinsel Medium
  • Thorax Dub: Ice Dub UV Black
  • Backing: Hareline Pearlescent Tinsel Wide

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